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The association between age at first calving and survival of first lactation heifers within dairy herds

Sherwin, V.E.; Hudson, C.D.; Henderson, A.; Green, Martin J.

Authors

V.E. Sherwin

C.D. Hudson

A. Henderson

Martin J. Green



Abstract

The objective of this research was to evaluate the survival rate of primiparous heifers within a large sample of herds across the UK and specifically to assess the association between age at first calving (AFC) on their survival. Data from 437 herds was re-structured for analysis. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and a multilevel logistic regression model used to explore factors associated with the risk of first lactation culling. Potential explanatory variables included AFC, herd size, culling rate within the whole herd, calving season, herd mean 305d yield and herd mean calving interval. The mean within-herd culling rate for the primiparous heifers was 15.9%. The mean within-herd AFC was 29.6 months, with 35.9% of heifers having an AFC greater than 30 months of age. Multivariable analysis revealed a negative association between survival rate of primiparous heifers and increasing AFC, and also associations with herd culling rate in older cows and calving season. This study highlights the importance of AFC for survival of primiparous heifers, as well the need to address heifer wastage in herds with high culling rates.

Citation

Sherwin, V., Hudson, C., Henderson, A., & Green, M. J. (2016). The association between age at first calving and survival of first lactation heifers within dairy herds. animal, 10(11), https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731116000689

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 29, 2016
Online Publication Date May 2, 2016
Publication Date Nov 1, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 31, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 31, 2016
Journal Animal
Print ISSN 1751-7311
Electronic ISSN 1751-732X
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 11
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731116000689
Keywords Age at First Calving, Heifers, Longevity, Culling
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/38021
Publisher URL https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/animal/article/the-association-between-age-at-first-calving-and-survival-of-first-lactation-heifers-within-dairy-herds/CC769492513FC7FC81D5023CB504A943
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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